Muscle Sport Magazine

Three Exercises to Improve Your Rugby Performance

There is no doubt that over the last ten years there has been a change in the physique of rugby players, with players across the world shrugging off the old stereotypes and becoming some of the most finely tuned athletes to play sport – with every player, whether a prop or a scrum-half, having a figure to be admired.

Of course, committed training is behind the transformation of a rugby player’s body, with rugby clubs up and down the country, at both amateur and professional level, spending hours and hours in the gym, training in a specific way that will help their performance on the field and keep them in top physical condition.

Perhaps the rugby side that defy the stereotype more than anybody is New Zealand, who have dominated world rugby for nearly a decade, winning back-to-back World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

The All Blacks will be looking to continue their domination of world rugby in two years time at the 2019 World Cup, where they are priced at 5/4 to win a third consecutive trophy with bookmakers, which may make for a prudent £200 free bet with various bookmakers via Oddschecker.

The All Blacks will undoubtedly be working hard both on the training field and in the gym, as they look to make yet more history. Here is a look at three key exercises in the gym they will be using to improve their fitness.


Deadlifting is one of the most difficult exercises to perfect, with your form absolutely crucial if you are to avoid a serious back injury. The exercise is great for working on your explosive power from your legs, whilst also testing the core and lower back.

It is perhaps an exercise more suited to forwards, who have to scrum, ruck and maul more than the backs. But it is known as one of the best exercises for the body as a whole, and is a must for everybody if they are to become stronger.

Deadlift” (CC BY 2.0) by CrossFitShoalhaven

Jump Squat  

Whilst regular squatting is essential in any training regime, a jump squat is also essential for any rugby player.

A regular squat will see a professional player put hundreds of kilograms on a bar, whilst a jumping squat will only require a person’s body weight. Like a deadlift, jump squatting is all about explosive power, which is absolutely essential in rugby, with everybody in a team using it one way or another.


Perhaps the thing that most people hate doing in the gym is cardio.

Whilst it is vital that rugby players are strong in the legs, core and back, they would struggle to be professionals without having cardiovascular endurance, with the 80 minutes of action often so demanding on a player’s body.

Cardio work will often be done outside a gym, but exercise on both the bike and rowing machine will be done in the gym, along with the treadmill, where the sport’s analysis teams will be able to get a closer look at the physical condition of the player.

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